Use Of Modern Contraceptives Prevents 141 million unintended pregnancies, 29 Million Unsafe Abortions In 2022

DATA from the Family Planning 2030’s 2022 Measurement Report has shown an increase in the use of modern contraception around the world, with an estimated 371 million women of reproductive age in low- and lower-middle-income countries now using a modern method of family planning, 87 million more than just a decade ago. By Michael Gwarisa FP2030’s 2022 Measurement Report, which was previewed in November 2022 at the International Conference on Family Planning, shows that more women in low- and lower-middle income countries are using modern family planning methods than ever…

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Feli Nandi uses music to fight early child marriages

HAVING been married when she was around the age of 18 herself, songstress Felistas “Feli Nandi” Chipendo believes the world can be a better place if and when the girl child is allowed to be in school longer and if she is not rushed into marriage for any reason. By Michael Gwarisa According to UNICEF data, child marriage remains widespread in Zimbabwe and one woman out of every three was married before the age of 18. In Zimbabwe, some of the major drivers of child marriages include poverty, lack of…

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Abortion is not illegal but restricted in Zimbabwe

By Memory Pamella Kadau Zimbabwe’s Termination of Pregnancy Act (TOP) provides a legal framework on when and how can women and girls access safe abortion services. The Act provides only three grounds under which pregnancy can be lawfully terminated in the country.  It further provides that pregnancies can only be terminated by a registered medical practitioner and authorized by a court order. However, these grounds are very narrow and result in a many women and girls seeking unsafe abortions every year which expose them to health complications and death. The…

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SASA Project Records Gains from Partnering Chiefs in Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence against Women and Girls

WHILE Chiefs have traditionally been blamed for preserving harmful cultural practices that perpetuate abuse of women and girls, the SASA project being implemented by the Zimbabwe Association of Church related Hospitals (ZACH) has managed to rope in chiefs and other traditional leaders as allies in ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in communities. By Michael Gwarisa SASA stands for Start Awareness Support Action (SASA) and ZACH is implementing the program in eight hot spot districts (Chimanimani, Mguza, Kwekwe and Umzingwane] plus 4 additional hot spot districts). Speaking during the…

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WALPE pushes for enactment of sexual harassment Act

The Women Academy for Leadership and Academy for Excellence (WALPE) is pushing for a stand-alone sexual harassment act to be passed into law in order to protect women and girls from sexual predators in the workplace. By Patricia Mashiri The said law will have a stipulated penalty for offenders unlike under the current scenario whereby sexual harassment is covered by the Labour Act (28.1) and the criminal law codification and reform Act (9.23) where the WALPE argues that they are inadequate to protect women. Speaking during a meeting on the…

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt Walk/Run sends strong message against GBV and Child Sexual Abuse

WITH the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) commemorations drawing near, the Population Solutions for Health (PSH), has kick started the campaign with a Walk/Run as a way of raising awareness against GBV and all forms of violence against women and girls. By Michael Gwarisa The Walk/Run also observed Child Marriages which is a form of GBV and represents sexual abuse of young girls below the age of 18 years. The Walk/Run is part of the ongoing Love Shouldn’t Hurt Campaign the PSH launched in 2021 through…

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Access to abortion is critical for women socio-economic growth

By Memory Pamela Kadau The economy is often described as consisting of firms, government and households. Economic activities of households are determined by income, savings and what they can spend on such basics as health, food, education and clothing, socials amongst other recurrent needs of households. Of critical importance for the economic balance of the household is the number of dependents in each household. Children constitute the majority of dependents in households and meeting their needs takes up a significant amount of the household budget. In Zimbabwe, the government doesn’t…

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Making the schools’ sanitary wear budget work for girls

In 2020 there was a landmark development in the menstrual health management space, following the signing of the Education Amendment Act into law by President Mnangagwa. We celebrated Section 4(1a) of the Act which requires the State to “ensure the provision of sanitary wear and other menstrual health facilities to girls in all schools to promote menstrual health.” This legislation makes it a legal obligation for government to provide free sanitary wear to all school girls. By Theresa Nyava-Machadu The background of this legislation is that many school girls were…

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Media Trained On Improved Attitudes Towards Safe Abortion

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists together with the Population Services Zimbabwe (PSZ) held a three day media training workshop to  improve  the knowledge and attitude towards safe abortion in Zimbabwe. By Patricia Mashiri The training termed the Value Clarification Attitudes Transformation (VCAT) was also centred on discussions around religious and cultural beliefs around abortion, the legal framework that guide abortion in Zimbabwe and how to report sensitively on the issue so as to change the attitudes of the society . Mrs Edna Masiyiwa, the Women’s Action Group (WAG)…

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Going Beyond The Legal Framework On Abortion To Save Lives of Women and Girls

By Edinah Masiyiwa Nokutenda Hwaramba was a 15-year-old girl who recently died at a shrine whilst giving birth. Her life, like that of other pregnant girls giving birth in shrines, was cut short for preventable causes and this angers me so much. One of the reasons given for why girls like Nokutenda did not deliver safely in a health center is “church doctrine,”’ which left them under the care of untrained religious people. One wonders why such a doctrine is still allowed in Zimbabwe, a country which signed the Maputo…

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